I recently visited the Lee Valley White Water Centre – host venue for the London 2012 Olympics – to shoot some watersports, as I had read about an ‘extreme canoeing’ event, the Boater X Series, taking place in July.
When I arrived at the centre, there were groups enjoying a session of white water rafting so I decided to capture some of the action before the canoeing .
After a few minutes in position at the bottom of the run, I grabbed my gear and was about to make my way up the course to shoot from a different position, when one group somehow managed to capsize their raft. Unfortunately I missed the moment they went over but was impressed with how quickly their guide recovered and started giving directions to his team.
A short while later, the rafting sessions ended and the canoeists took over. On the starting signal, four canoeists set off simultaneously to make their way down the course in the fastest time possible.
After a few runs, I noticed one of the paddlers was pretty good, and was wearing a British Canoeing helmet. A minute or so later I realised that this was Etienne Stott, gold medallist at London 2012 in the C2 kayak category, on this very course.
I was very impressed with the technique of the paddlers and the speed with which they attacked the course, and overall I was quite pleased with the photos I managed to capture.